{Since our summer vacation won’t be happening until fall, I thought I’d continue this series about fabulous cities to visit!}

Amsterdam is a beautiful old city with an extensive artistic heritage, beautiful canals and decorative narrow houses with gabled facades, legacies of the city’s 17th-century.  It’s easy to see how the beauty of this old city inspired the Dutch masters to create breathtaking works of art during the Golden Age.



I am taking you with me today to some of my favorite places to visit in Amsterdam.

Not only do Amsterdammers live in beautiful homes, quite a few of them live in “house boats” on the many canals lining the streets. Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands, and one of the world’s most interesting city destinations.




It’s city best walked, or cycled. At last count there were 800,000 bicycles in Amsterdam, if you are an accomplished cyclist, there are plenty of bikes for rent.






Every area of Amsterdam has its own beauty and charm, so depending on how long you will be there, you’ll have to choose a few destinations you really want to visit. Narrow down your list of “must do and see.” My current two favorites:


Amsterdam is home to many art museums, the Rijksmuseum is filled with astounding art works. Find it, and the Van Gogh and Stedelijk Museums on the Museum Plein.  The Museum plein is called the cultural beating heart of Amsterdam, the open square between the buildings has open-air exhibitions, markets and a large water pool in the center to cool you off {at least visually} on warmer days.



The museum has a dream library!  When I was a little girl, I used to dream of waking up there when I just learned to read. A weekly trip to our local library with my Mom was the highlight of my week, and the thought of all those books, and that spiral staircase, figured large in my young girl’s imagination.








Situated on the Prinsengracht, the house where Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazis for two years before being discovered is worth a visit. The front of the house is a museum, but the back annex has been preserved as it was to give you an idea of what life was like for Anne and the families she hid with.  Buy tickets online, they only reserve 20% of each day’s tickets for sales at the door, and there is always a long line. You will have a certain time slot to visit if you book tickets ahead of time.



Okay, I fibbed. Here is number three. Amsterdam by canal is unbelievably beautiful, by day and at night. In the evening the bridges are lit up with small decorative lights, and the whole area is beyond magical.  Floating along the canals with a guided tour boat is the perfect way to learn lots of fascinating facts about the city, and you will get a really good feel for the city.





Amsterdam is home to some of the most sophisticated shops in the world.  It boasts lots of little side streets, each home to many interesting, one of a kind little shops!



Called Amsterdam’s most charming neighbourhood, wandering through the Jordan’s narrow streets and quaint buildings is like stepping back into time. World class independent art galleries, antique shops and boutiques are joined by phenomenal restaurants and bars.





East from the Prinsengracht, the charming streets that run along the grandest canals in the city are known as “De Negen Straatjes” or “The Nine Streets” – it’s a special neighborhood filled with vintage and designer shops, specialty boutiques, and cosy cafés.






This is the place for you if you want to visit Amsterdam’s largest daily flea market.  The Waterloo Plein flea market is open from Monday thru Saturday.  Located in the heart of the city, you can spend a couple of hours there looking for that treasure to take home, and/or get a taste for the local culture. It’s located right by the Amsterdam City Hall, The Rembrandt Huis, and the National Opera.







To experience old-world elegance mixed in with modern Dutch sensibility, visit The White Room. Considered to be the oldest restaurant in Amsterdam in its original condition, it opened in 1885. Situated in the Grand Hotel Krasnapolski on the Dam in the center of Amsterdam, it is not only beautiful, but elegant and chic. The beautiful rococo interiors are stunningly furnished with all white furniture that is a modern compliment to all the amazing wall treatments.


The White Room serves lunch and dinner, they are masters at “nouvelle cuisine”, their food is beautifully prepared from the freshest ingredients. A four course meal starts at 65.00 Euro per person.




During the summer months, head for the outdoor terrace, a hidden gem in the city!  For lunch they serve both the ultra-Dutch “pasteitje” a pastry case filled with ragout, a Dutch cheese sandwich, truffle risotto, but also burgers and salads.



The downstairs bar is world famous for their beautiful presentation of their specialty cocktails. They are located in “the happening” Reguliersdwarsstraat 28.





This is one of the first restaurants Mr. FrenchGardenHouse and I ever ate at together, it holds a special place in my heart. Quirky, but super fun!

They only serve {huge!} pancakes here. Upstairs Pancakes is in a typical Amsterdam house dating back to 1539, in the center of Amsterdam. Established in 1962, it is the smallest restaurant in Europe with only 6 tables. By climbing a very steep staircase, you reach the restaurant on the second floor.  Be sure to visit their website and make a reservation. I recommend it!  {did I mention a VERY STEEP STAIRCASE?}

{The Housewives of Beverly Hills had pancakes here too!}


This is a hard one, because the whole city is a walking paradise!


The city’s large green park is always filled with something beautiful to look at. Take a walk here, or bring a picnic lunch and sit somewhere and listen to the birds sing!  The park has English-style gardens with ponds, footbridges and winding footpaths, and sculptures including Picasso’s The Fish.



The world famous flower market in Amsterdam is on the Singel Canal. it is one of Amsterdam’s main attractions for tourists and residents. The flower seller’s stalls are floating ones, you can buy tulips of every color, but also bulbs to send back home. And, as the Dutch have a centuries long affinity with flowers, plenty of other flowers in stunning bouquets! They are inexpensive enough to buy one and have in your hotel room {extra water pitcher?} to liven up your temporary home in the Netherlands.

No matter where you go in Amsterdam, there is always plenty to do, see and experience!  I hope you enjoyed your arm-chair visit with me!



à bientôt


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14 thoughts on “AMSTERDAM | DUTCH TREAT”

  1. Amsterdam is a wonderful town with lots of things to do but if you visit the Netherlands don’t forget Haarlem nearby Amsterdam and of course The Hague and Delft, Vermeer is a painter who lived and worked there.

  2. Anja, there are so many beautiful cities to visit in the Netherlands! Another one of my very favorites is Maastricht ( it may actually be THE favorite one!)

  3. Rita Key

    Thank you Lidy for the wonderful tour. Amsterdam is a city I have not visited or shopped. It is on my bucket list. Lovely pictures & tour!

  4. You are welcome, Amsterdam is so filled with architecture, and such an interesting mix of old/new! Happy weekend to you, too, Sandra!

  5. Definitely saving this! This itinerary you’ve compiled is wonderful Lidy! Thank you for sharing it. Another thing to do, place the visit is the Tassen Museum Hendrikeje Museum of Bags and Purses in Henrengracht, Amsterdam. I am a member of the Antique Purse Collectors’ Society, and although I didn’t attend the Gathering held there in 2014, Sigrid Ivo, fellow member and Tassen museum Director, hosted a wonderful event for our members! Sigrid came to our Gathering in NYC in 2012, and the seed was planted for our members to travel internationally. Many friendships have been solidified since!

    1. Rita, I LOVE the Hendrikje! It is such a darling museum, be sure to go there when you can.
      Amsterdam actually has SO many wonderful small museums, you just can’t see it all when you
      are there for a few days. I’ve gone lots and lots of times and still discover something new each time
      we visit!

  6. When we visited there we took a tour boat of the Canals. We asked about the house boats that people live in and he told us they flush their tolilets into the canals. I could see things floating in the water but he said they flush the canals out every night and that the Queen comes at least once a years and swims in the canals to prove they are safe to swim in. Do I believe his story? But I loved the narrow houses and the museums and could have visited them every day. The windmills are so pretty and of course I bought some Delft and had them ship it to me. The big power pumps that keep the ocean at bay were fascinating. Might be concerned about it sinking into the ocean.

    1. Alice, at one time that sewer story was true. The city of Amsterdam has been providing ship-to-sewer connections, every houseboat was connected to a sewage system by june of 2017. While I am doubtful that the Queen would swim the canals, they do have a swimming event yearly in September for charity, about 2000 swimmers swim a 2 kilometer course in the canals.

  7. In 2012 our Queen Máxima,at that time Princess, did swim 2 K in the canals of Amsterdam for the City Swim. It was and still is for charity.

    1. Anja, I didn’t know Maxima did that, thanks for letting us know. 🙂

  8. Sheila in SF

    I certainly would love to visit and your suggestions are keepers. Thanks.

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